US Presidential Election Result- Impact on Climate Change?

As we all know by now, Donald Trump has been voted in as the President of the USA. This event takes place just days after the historic Paris agreement officially came into force. It also occurs whilst the world’s environmental groups are meeting at the UN climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco.

However, Donald Trump’s victory has thrown the global deal into uncertainty and raised fears that the US will reverse the ambitious environmental course charted under current President Barack Obama.

Mr Trump has cited many opinions over his long and often bitter road to the White House, and some of them have touched on climate change and the energy industry, he has talked about opening up public land for coal, oil and gas extraction.

The Guardian today states: “Trump has called climate change a “hoax”, placing him virtually alone among world leaders on the validity of the science. The real estate magnate has promised to embark upon a four-year process of withdrawing the US from the Paris deal and has targeted the “billions and billions and billions” given to UN climate programmes and clean energy development.

Domestically, Trump has promised to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling, despite the fact that the growth of natural gas use has caused the downturn in coal.”

There have been many comments from eminent organisations and we are sure that these comments will continue.

Speaking in Marrakech, Thoriq Ibrahim, energy minister for the Maldives and chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis).: “One of the many challenges Trump’s administration will now confront is climate change. Last month, for the first time, renewables like wind and solar surpassed fossil fuels in [new] electricity generation globally and that number is expected to climb. America has led this technological transformation and can continue to create jobs and opportunity in this area.”

Friends of the Earth’s chief executive officer, Craig Bennett stated in today’s Guardian: “The election of President Trump is clearly a major threat to our climate and future wellbeing of generations to come. But thankfully the clean energy revolution is now unstoppable. If Mr Trump chooses to disengage then he will hand the next industrial revolution lock, stock and barrel to the Chinese.”

Caroline Lucas Green MP observed in today’s Independent Newspaper: “Slowly but surely, countries across the world have been moving forward and working closer together on climate change, and now the most powerful nation on earth is to be led by someone who denies that the earth is warming. In fact, he believes that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

She furthers this by acknowledging that more than ever we need to work together: “But we must not slip into fatalism. Britain could now begin to lead the world on climate change – working closely with our friends in Europe. What better response to Trump’s election than showing him that investing in renewables makes economic sense and strengthens energy security – whatever his views on climate change.

With states like California and New York pursuing their own ambitious climate policies, there is hope that the US might still meet its climate obligations.”

Elmhurst believe that whatever has been said over a very ‘opinionated’ fight for the Presidency is one thing, but sometimes the actions are not always the same. We note that Mr Trump doesn’t take over until January and we will have to wait and see what occurs over his first 100 days in office. We hope that he sees the value and sense in pursuing agreed targets for the good of all.

Mr Trump made his money from real estate and building his vast empire across the globe, ultimately he will be guided by ‘money’, the money of Business, Investors and confidence in markets; we hope that the investors, countries and cities seeking a greener ‘decarbonised’ future and that the business of getting to the green outcome ‘out trumps’ any return to old dirtier times! We will watch with keen interest.


Links for further information:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-change-donald-trump-president-elect-paris-agreement-china-a7407476.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/09/us-election-result-throws-paris-climate-deal-into-uncertainty

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